7 Small Biotech ETFs

The Investing News Network profiles seven small-cap ETFs in the biotech market.


Thanks to exchange-traded funds, inversions aren’t tied to one specific stock. Instead, the investment is for a group of companies in a similar sector, most of the time. In a market as risky as the Life Science one, it’s important for investors to minimize risk at every chance possible.

An ETF can reduce risk by providing a pool of companies being invested at once and thanks to this, if a company in this group suffers a massive hit to their stock, the impact won’t be as direct in the fund.

The Investing News Network takes a look at seven small biotech ETFs that provide a valuable option to investors and were selected with the help from an article in the ETF database, ETFdb.com. All figures are current as of February 27, 2018 at 2 p.m. EST.

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Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (NASDAQ:CNCR)

Market cap: $54.70 million; current share price: $29.34

Launched in 2015, this fund currently has a total of 31 holdings focusing on cancer therapies using the body’s own immune system. Of all their holdings, 31 are in the clinical stage biotech sector with four large-cap immunotherapy leaders of the industry on the top.

The top stocks on this ETF are Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:ATRA), Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:IOVA), Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO), and BeiGene (NASDAQ:BGNE).

Principal Healthcare Innovators Index ETF (NASDAQ:BTEC)

Market cap: $53.63 million; current share price: $33.39

With a high amount of holdings—160 to be exact—compared with other ETFs on this list. Top holdings include, Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO), bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE), and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY).

As the name describes it, BTEC is a healthcare first ETF, giving investors a wide exposure to growth and value shares of small to large cap companies in the healthcare industry.

Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF (NYSEARCA:BBC)

Market cap: $43.85 million; current share price: $33.73

This fund “tracks an equally weighted index of US-listed biotech companies with lead drugs in various phases of clinical trials.” ETF.com referred to this fund as a “high-risk and high-reward bet,” with a specific focus.

There are 84 holdings included in this fund, its top ones currently are Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:ATRA), Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:IOVA), Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VYGR) and CymaBay Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CBAY).

ProShares UltraPro NASDAQ Biotechnology (NASDAQ:UBIO)

Market cap: $41.46 million; current share price: $36.05

Just at 196 holdings, the top few holdings are highly weighted with 60.74 percent of the assets in the top 15. The top four holdings, of large market cap companies and weighted over 6.50 percent are: Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).

The UBIO is looking to make a large return for investors, “that is 3x the return of an index or other benchmark (target) for a single day, as measured from one NAV calculation to the next,” ProShares said.

Virtus LifeSci Biotech Products ETF (NYSEARCA:BBP)

Market cap: $38.25 million; current share price: $42.50

Bringing investors a portfolio of biotech product companies, Virtus says it’s,”one of the most exciting, high-growth sectors in the global economy today.” Unlike BBP’s clinical trial counterpart, this ETF invests in more established companies with products released.

Just shy of 40 holdings, BBP top holdings are Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENTA), Radius Health (NASDAQ:RDUS), and Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MNTA).

ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotechnology (NASDAQ:BIS)

Market cap: $33.13 million; current share price: $19.96 

With 195 holdings, some of the top companies include: Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).

BIS is the only inverse biotech fund, making it a tactile tool. ProShares fact sheet advises investors to “monitor holdings consistent with their strategies, as frequently as daily.” Which could be too much for new investors unsure of what companies to check.

ProShares UltraPro Short NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:ZBIO)

Market cap: $4.36 million; current share price: $9.67

Detailed by the fund’s fact sheet, this ETF wants to produce results equal to three times the inverse of what the daily performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index may be. Net assets for this fund totaled $6.70 million.

Currently, this ETF has 195 holdings in it with the top ones being Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).

 Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates! Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

This is an updated version of an article first published on the Investing News Network in 2015.

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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